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If you are that worried about FSB spying on you, make sure you are not running a Kaspersky product: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/07/ff_kaspersky/all/

But in all seriousness... it seems to be a rather unfortunate reality of using FREE email service, that the actual level of privacy afforded to you is minimal. Russia has a very stringent set of anti-extremism laws that curb free speech big time. If your content is labeled extremist, it has to be taken down by an ISP via a swift court order. Note that the "court" is either a single judge or a small panel of judges making the decision. Under that set of laws.

The hosted paid services like Google Apps is another matter all together. There the privacy expectation should be extremely high... but who knows if that's really true.

If you are that worried about NSA spying on you, make sure you are not running Windows.

Because, you know, routine software updates is just what the doctor ordered for on-demand installation of backdoors.

I know very little about how Linux works internally, and I use proprietary video card drivers in Ubuntu. Given Linux's internal handling of driver binaries, how much damage would these be able to cause if they contained malicious code?

Quite a bit - not total kernel access, given the GPL symbol table export restrictions, but at least as much as a process running as root in user space.

That said, it's quite likely that such malicious behavior would be detected by somebody.

Because NSA cares about whether it's a free service or a paid one, or about the company's ad tracking technology?

Verizon is not a free service. Where's our privacy?

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